In this week’s edition of 50 Years of Crochet History we’ll take a look at the world of crochet in 1936.
1936 Crochet: Favorite Find
My favorite find in 1936 crochet was a fictional story published in The Lewiston Daily Sun that has this lovely description of the protagonist working on some crochet:
“Coralie nodded. She was sitting flat on the floor in the Ash kitchen and she had a small basket filled with bright-colored balls of scraps beside her. Her tongue was caught between her teeth as she labored earnestly with a long wooden crochet hook. Ma Ash peered at her through silver-rimmed spectacles and smiled.
“You’re coming along fine, dearie, she observed.”
Coralie pushed a curl out of her eyes and looked a little distracted. “It seems awfully easy when you do it,” she protested. “You don’t even have to keep your eyes on your stitches. But mine – Do you suppose any one can tell it’s meant for a rug?”
Ah, we’ve all been there, as beginner crocheters and sometimes even when just doing new types of projects as experienced crocheters!
1936 Crochet Style
As I think I mentioned in last week’s post the mid-1930s saw a lot of crochet patterns for matching sets. For example, in 1936 you could send away to get the pattern for this crocheted beret and purse:
Lace crochet gloves were also popular at this time; another newspaper advertised the crochet pattern for these for sale:
1936 Crochet Techniques
One of the things that I noticed that seemed to become popular in 1936 crochet was the use of lace crochet motifs to make a variety of items of different sizes. For example, a pattern you could mail away for is described as follows: “With just commonplace string and your trusty crochet hook you can turn out the choice five inch suquares that border this linen cloth so beautifully. A few few squares would make a handsome pillow top, tray cloth, vanity, buffet or chair set. And for supreme beauty a quantity will make a cloth.” Another pattern was for crochet medallions designed to look like tatting that could be combined together to make “scarfs, cloths, doilies and chair sets”. And yet another for filet crochet squares was intended for a bedspread but the ad for the pattern noted: “or even in less time, your crochet can run off enough of these simple eight-inch squares for a lacy pillow top, handkerchief case or bureau scarf.”
This pattern that you could send away to purchase in 1936 was for a half-embroidered, half-crocheted bedspread design; the crochet was filet crochet
Many of these patterns were for filet crochet, a technique that continued to be very popular in this year for many different items, especially items for the home. Speaking of crocheting for the home in this time, one of the things I noticed about the crochet patterns from this time is that there were a lot of new patterns for crochet rugs.
This was another mail-away-for crochet pattern for a two-toned crochet bathroomrug and matching crochet towel edgings.
1936 Crochet Books
Hats and Bags: 29 Vintage Crochet Patterns From 1936 . This vintage crochet book, offered as a reproduction from Bramcost Publications is described as follows: “Originally published in 1936, this book contains a beautiful selection of sporty and romantic hats, many showing that classic 30s trend of wearing a hat tilted a bit to one side.” In addition to eighteen crochet hat patterns, it also has nine crochet purse patterns and a pattern for lacy crochet gloves.
Fashionable Hats made in Crochet. This is another option for a repdorduction of a 1936 crochet hat pattern book; this one is for sale from Iva Rose and includes five 1930s crochet hat patterns for women and five more for girls.
Iva Rose also offers the reproduction of this vintage crochet book dated circa 1936. It has 39 pages of both knit and crochet fashions. They’re all written for a size 16 (which as we’ve discussed in previous posts in this series is probably more like a modern American size 12) but the reproduction includes tips for resizing these vintage patterns to fit you.
MySewingParlor on Etsy showcased this vintage 1936 crochet pattern book that has the kind of filet crochet designs mentioned above that could be put together to create a variety of different sized items for the home.
Knitting and History Crochet Book
Usually when I find crochet books from this era they are the types of crochet pattern books you see above. However, this time I also found a knitting and crochet book that offers a historical non-fiction look at crafting. The book was published in 1990 but it references a large number of publications from the year 1936. It’s called No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting and is about the history of American needlework as well as the related history of women’s roles in society from colonial times through the late twentieth century. Although focused on the history of American knitting, it also references crochet and other needlework mutiple times throughout the text.
1936 Crochet Patterns
In addition to what we’ve already seen here in this post, here aer some other 1936 vintage crochet patterns:
On Etsy you can find some of the vintage crochet patterns for matching sets as described in the above section on crochet style. For example, patternsalacarte sells this vintage crochet hat and gloves pattern.
Etsy’s SubversiveFemme sells the PDF reproduction of this vintage 1936 crochet hat pattern that I think is super cute!
VintageKnitPatterns on Etsy sells the scanned vintage crochet pattern for two detachable collars and a pair of matching vintage crochet cuffs.
Etsy’s SewKnitandCrochet sells this PDF pattern for this combo knit-and-crochet suit, the undergarment vestee is crocheted while the jacket and skirt are knitted.
Etsy’s KnittyDebby sells the reproduction of this vintage crochet pattern for a teapot cozy designed to look like a crown.
Next up in this vintage crochet series is, of course, 1937 crochet! Look for it on the blog next week. Got a lead on something from this year in crochet? Share it in the comments below!